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@SaintAnne (5453)
United States
October 7, 2008 5:54pm CST
"Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain." ~Lily Tomlin I saw this on a poster today. Made me think that Lily Tomlin is somewhat right for saying this. We, humans, tend to complain about a lot of things. Got me to thinking about how much I verbally appreciate what's around me and what I have compared to how much I complain in general, from little inconveniences to what I consider a tragedy. If I make a pie chart, 30% will be positive and 70% would be how life and other people are conspiring against me. What do you think about this quote? If you make your own pie chart, what would it look like?
7 people like this
15 responses
• United States
7 Oct 08
Hahahahaha... I love Lily Tomlin! This is a very good question!! My pie used to be probably about 99% life was conspiring against me. I was almost down for the count. These days, it's about 50% neutral, 40% feeling good, and 10% feeling bad. I had to take up meditation just to shut my constant negative ranting up. What a relief! I also deliberately choose activities and thoughts that make me feel good. I still have some deep-seated negative stuff that tries to get back in control, but that is nothing compared to what it once was... I once had a 7ft demon living inside me, wrestling me for my soul, hahahahaha!
2 people like this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Well now, zig, I was just thinking of ways for us to let out these negativity in a good way and you just named a few. I especially like deliberately choosing things to do that make us feel good... I wonder how tall the demon now that's still inside you, if it's still there. How do you keep yourself at 50% neutral, by the way?
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Oct 08
My objective is to feel 100% wonderful 100% of the time. How I have managed to create 50% neutral space is that I never watch TV, I never read the newspaper or listen to the news, and I have become practically a hermit. I will not always have to remain a hermit but until I can control the direction of my thoughts without being influenced by the negativity of others around me then I will remain so. I never go to bed feeling badly... if I have dropped down into a negative frame of mind before I go to bed I spend how ever long it takes bringing myself back into a feeling good place. That way my dreams are always fun and my sleep restful. I create little 'environments' around me that make me feel good to be in them. I pay attention to how I feel, so I notice more quickly when I am headed down the tone scale, and then I look for the thoughts I am thinking that are making me feel bad. Once I have found them I search diligently for a way to view the subject matter that feels better. It is a neverending process, but incredibly rewarding.
2 people like this
• United States
8 Oct 08
PS: I don't know think the demon is with me anymore. I think she has been 'neutralized', hehehehe.
1 person likes this
• Malta
8 Oct 08
Hi to all, I am a new member of Mylot, and as i was getting used to this site I saw your small paragraph!!! I think that my pie chart will be probably similar to yours, but this quote is really something that will probably change my point of view of life from today. I live in a small country in Europe, and in summer days it is invaded with illegal immigrants that leave their home land to find a better living. They come to European countries to have the opportunity to live a better life, but by doing this they usually end up being locked up in a refugee camp or even worse sent back to their country. These people would have left their country,with all their belongings, and some of them would have also left their families behind, not to mention the accessive ammount of money they will have to pay for the promised trip to Europe. I think it would be ligitimate for these people to complain, but recently i have visited the refugee camp and talked to some of these people. I realised, that although they are locked up, like prisoners, they still enjoy life and are very gratefull to the authorities of my country, cause they have saved them. I could not understand how these people are gratefull to someone who had them locked up as if they were criminals??? I think this is a good example of what this quote is all about. We have everything and complain, and people who have nothing are very happy of what they have. What do you think???? Do you agree???
2 people like this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Hello elimar! Welcome to myLot. I hope you're enjoying (or enjoyed) your very first myLot hours. I think a lot of us would be more appreciative of what we have around us if we grew up with little to nothing. A lot of us take our lives for granted and even if we are clearly aware of how GOOD we have it in the world, we still find things to complain about. I spent most of my last year being miserable. Looking back, I don't know why I even felt that way knowing I have a very spacious house for shelter, I have a very supportive family and Boyfriend. I have good friends and I get to choose whatever I eat and how much. I think if we find ourselves in poor countries and find the people there and how they live their lives, we would be ashamed as to how miserable and ungrateful we've become compared to them who find hope and laughter in their lives. Thanks elimar for your post. Hope to hear more from you and take care!
@sanjo0679 (225)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Ya gotta love Lily! And I totally agree with her. Since complaining doesn't get us anywhere anyway, I'd have to say that only 10% of my pie chart would be complaining. What's the use? The other 90% would be of a more positive nature.
2 people like this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Good for you, sanjo! I am actually trying to work on my pie chart in real life to make it more like yours. Thanks!
1 person likes this
@glords (2615)
• United States
7 Oct 08
80% of what I say is plain silliness. Silliness only meant for the entertainment and education of my 16 month old baby. 10% is spent talking about my baby, 7% is complaining. and 3% is left for business, gratitude, and anything else that hasn't fit into my pie chart yet. That is a pretty sad pie chart.
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
You got a lot of numbers there, glords. It's not a sad pie chart if 80% of it makes your baby happy.
• Philippines
7 Oct 08
We all complain a lot, that's for sure. It seems we find it hard to be satisfied of the good things, we seldom talk about it, but oh boy! Do we talk of the bad things in our life! Shucks! I am at times guilty of this though I try so much to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. And when I have complaints, I try so hard not to express it to other people and just keep it to myself. My pie chart would then be 30-30-40. The 30s are for both positive and negative that I vocally express and 40% for the complaints that I kept within me. Sad, it still leaves me with 70% complaints.
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Hmm, I wonder if there are productive ways we can let out these complaints we keep to ourselves. You are right, maple_kisses, we do tend to put more emphasis on the negatives of our lives rather than hold on to the positives. How are you feeling now?
• Philippines
8 Oct 08
Hi Anne dear, I'm ok, I just received the most wonderful phone call from the most important person in my life! yep, that's my Mom! And I'm sooooooooo happy! Thanks for asking. Hope you're doing fine yourself.
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
I'm sincerely very happy to hear that, M. I hope more good things develop from that phone call. Take care!
• Philippines
9 Oct 08
if i create my own pie chart let me say its 1% positive and 99% negative against me..I am so much pessimistic over things and i am an assuming person...reason why I'd rather assume is to overcome disappointments in sooner time..see if i stay positive and thing didn't work out it will give me depression but if i expected something negative and it didn't work out it gives me less pain and burden as well as if it turns out positive then it gives me more joy than what i expected..i more likely to complain in every minute of my life..i just cant help it but complain
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
9 Oct 08
Angel_of_charm, I think you are overestimating your pie chart here. I hope you are because it's just not a very healthy outlook. I know we'd rather not set ourselves up for disappointment but sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith. Sometimes it's better to just say that we tried and failed rather than not having tried at all. Plus, I always enjoy the excitement that comes along with the hope that something will turn out the way I want it to be. I am definitely sure that you have 99% in yourself that will counteract those you negatively rate against yourself. Awareness of what we tend to do wrong (like underestimating ourselves and situations) allows us to work on that problem and hopefully have less to complain about. Chin up, girl!
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Oct 08
I think the quote is very clever and it's true as well! lol. It is human nature to complain. Much the same as it is on our nature to gossip. In a way, it's a defense mechanism and a means to release. We use it not only to get things off our chests but to satisfy our subliminal desires for sympathy. As for my own pie chart, I would like to have my positive part as at least 70% or more because an optimistic attitude will ward off those conspiring against me anyway! But more than likely my chart would just end up looking like a pie with a thick crust! All the sweet goodness is beneath that tough exterior!
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
So is it safe to say, James, that you are a... Chicago-style pizza! Deep-dish! Sympathy! That's the word I've been waiting for. We complain so others could tap our head/shoulders or hold our hands and tell us that we're going to be okay or that they're there with us or that they understand where we're coming from. I try to stay away from gossiping. I'd rather people not talk about me behind my back so I try not to do it (Okay, yes, I've done so every now and then but I try not to!). But I do like to complain which was why the poster and its message really resonated with me.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Oct 08
Hi SaintAnne yep I think Lilys got something there. I didnt realize just how much I have complained about life big and little and really inconsequential problems My pie chart would be about 60 percent complaining about bad luck,retirement woes, lost job, etx etc and forty percent positive. . So accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and dont mess with Mr. Unbetween.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
I had another poster in this discussion that I liked her own quote. Now, I like yours too. "So accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and dont mess with Mr. Unbetween." Thanks Hatley and I do hope things are looking better for you despite the bad luck, retirement woes and job loss. It is easy to say not to worry about such but I hope you and your family are coping well. Take care!
• India
8 Oct 08
actually what is this.. ;
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Do you have a question, logindian?
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
8 Oct 08
I have a very low tolerance for people who complain and I don't even find jokes like that funny. It IS supposed to be a joke, isn't it? Recently I was explaining somewhere on myLot that whenever somebody says a negative thing it is my believe that they should "undo the harm" by saying something constructive to counteract the negativity s/he created and then saying two nice things afterwards, one to clear the air and another turn the situation positive. My chart would be at least 90% positive and probably more so, but in any case it would never fall below 66% positive because I liken negative expressions to trash, and I always clean up after myself. Would that other people did the same.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
I think it is joke, drannhh, with a bit of truth in it. Tomlin is an actress and a comedienne as well. I've come across your 1 negative and 3 positive things to say and I think I commented on it too. And... You made your own good quote there. "I liken negative expressions to trash and I always clean up after myself."
• China
8 Oct 08
Well, I am complaining to myself in the office and I see your topic. Then I consider this seriously and I find recently my pie chart will be 20% good things while tragically 80% cynical comments. It shcoked me that I'd been complaining around so much. Yeah, I used to complain a lot mostly about my former job, about the bad environment and unhumane management codes. But recently it turned into the new job, busy and boring at the same time, never challenging, such a small Finish invested corp. Intertesting phenomenon. Perhaps human beings are borned to be never satisfied with what we have and always want to change, for better or worse. Is it complaining that makes some of us think soberly and then new inventions come out?
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Hello Denise_Tung, The grass is always greener on the other side... a lot us always have that kind of thinking. Just thinking of how that works is a bit funny. The people on each side crave for what the others supposedly have on the other side. "Is it complaining that makes some of us think soberly and then new inventions come out?"
@alokn99 (5717)
• India
8 Oct 08
My pie chart would change on a daily basis,ranging from 30% positive to 70% positive. There are those days that i feel right on top of the world and there are those days when i feel down in the dumps. The poster certainly makes a lot of sense. Given a chance to rattle off, i most certainly would.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
I never thought of pie charts changing on a daily basis but what you're saying there is most definitely true, Alokn. I am sure that I would still find myself complaining in the future but hopefully, I'll complain and then either shrug it off or do something about it. Thanks for your thoughts!
@magojordan (3254)
• Philippines
8 Oct 08
I think language was primarily made for us to communicate. Since communication involves a lot of things whether good or bad, I think when we hear a lot of complaints it's just one of the ways humans cope up with stress. For me I can't generalize a pie chart because it really depends for each person.
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
I believe you're right, magojordan. Complaints could be our way of coping with stress. I guess we deal with too much stress everyday that most of us complain at least once a day. The pie chart is based on your own outlook in life. Like for me, I said about 70 percent of what I say is about complaints while 30 percent of it is positive stuff... and obviously I have to work on that. Thanks for responding!
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Hmmmmmm, You are right anne! I sure know that I complain an awful lot! My pie chart would be almost a whole pie of complaining and just a little sliver positive! Lily is such a bright woman! I knew I liked her for so many reasons. Besides being funny she is smart too! It is very true that humans tend to complain an awful lot about every little thing. I know that I am definitely guilty of this exact thing, and I know that I shouldn't be because if I would truly take a good look around me there are so many other people who are so much worse off than I am. I should really be ashamed of myself. I don't know what it is about complaining. It feels good? It makes you look better to yourself? Now I'm trying to justify my reasons for doing it and I can't even come up with one good justification~ so note to self~Stop complaining so damn much!!!
1 person likes this
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
I don't really know if complaining helps us feel better or helps us feel worse. I think most of us are guilty of complaining about our lives even if we're aware of how much more fortunate we are compared to others. I think we just like to be miserable because maybe we don't know how to handle being happy and optimistic all the time which is sad. Thank you, Opal for sharing with us your thoughts once again. Very much appreciated!
@underdogtoo (9599)
• Philippines
8 Oct 08
I have always contended that people, myself included, are stupid. We do so many stupid things and we often use words to make our stupid actions somewhat more acceptable to us and our discerning minds that see the stupidity of our actions. Lily Tomlin is wrong, shallow even. People complain to divert attention from their stupidity. Cheers!!
@SaintAnne (5453)
• United States
8 Oct 08
Hello underdogtoo... I do agree with what you're saying. We do try to convince ourselves that what we are doing is not at all stupid or pointless even if they are. Most times, we tend to blame others for something that we obviously started ourselves. Maybe it's just me but from what you're pointing out, it seems like you're also agreeing with what Lily Tomlin said even if you wrote that she's wrong. People do so many stupid things, therefore complain to divert attention from that stupidity. Isn't that what Tomlin said? That men invented language to satisfy that need to complain (maybe in order to divert attention from their own stupidity). Cheers to you too!